Issue 2/2010, 106. Volume Page 163–196
„Wir wollen montieren.“ Fotomontagen als proletarische Volkskunst
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The traditions of the (communist) workers’ photography of the Weimar Republic are unique sources of information about the production and reception of modern visualization strategies in a largely non-written culture. Their investigation in the framework of the DFG-project „The eye of the worker. Studies on proletarian amateur photography in the Weimar Republic at the example of Saxony“ at the Institute of Saxon History and Folklore Studies offers a new perspective on cultural contradictions in the context of the industrialization of vision in the first third of the 20th century. In this context the experiments of the proletarian amateurs constitute a symptomatic special case within the montage fashion around 1930. Up to now they have not been included in historical accounts of this art form. Unlike primarily organisation-centred interpretations in the context of party and press history or art historical assessments of their aesthetic quality, this contribution approaches the amateur montages as performances of popular obstinacy. It interprets them as bricolages in the lifeworldly context of a „Taylorization of perception“. Their description as a reflection of both physical action and textualization of the „fight over the road“ opens up new interpretations of the photomontage, making it recognizable as an active reception of John Heartfield’s montages and as an element of a „proletarian folk art“.